Ill Bill & Q-Unique

You rocked De Melkweg. How do you feel about the show?

Ill Bill:
Shit was definitely dope, man. Amsterdam is the shit. It was the second time. We were here last year with The Beatnuts. Shit was crazy and last night was even crazier, man. It’s getting better and better.

The first time you were the support act. Now you were the main act. Things are shifting in the right direction.

Ill Bill:
That’s a beautiful thing. No way to go but up!

You also did your thing, Q-Unique.

Q-Unique:
Yeah right. Thanks to my Non Phixion brothers, you know what I’m saying. They just came through. We got Uncle Howie shit poppin’ of with them now and there’s no better way than to throw it in the middle of a show.

Tell us about the song you use when you come on stage. It isn’t really hiphop. More like Rage Against The Machine.

Q-Unique:
If there’s a song that moves us we gonna listen to it and gonna share it with the audience. In that case, that song in particular, brings out a certain agression in me. I wanna go and jump into the crowd and stomp people and fuckin’ everybody to smack eachother. That’s the energy.

There is a remix on the album The Future Is Now with lots of guitars. What’s your connection with that?

Ill Bill:
Yeah, man. I’m oldschool like that. We are into everything. Run DMC had rockguitars on their records. We’re influenced by everything around us and we listen to everything. We came up listening to al kind of shit. That’s just part of our musical heritage. It’s part of the blueprint, part of the dna.

You did a bunch of shows in a row. Where did you play?

Ill Bill:
We started in Rome, Italy and than we went to Barcelona, Madrid and now Amsterdam.

How was it?

Ill Bill:
It was off the hook, man. Think about it. We’re from New York. The dope shit about what we’re doing is we’re able to see the world. We’ve never been to Spain before. We’ve already been to Italy and Amsterdam before. It’s just great to see new places where you’ve never been to before and do a show in Madrid where 2000 people show up. That’s incredible. That feels like all the hard work we’ve put in is really paying off. People are responding and Non Phixion is the headliner. That’s crazy.

In Europe you have sold out shows. How popular are you guys back home?

Ill Bill:
It’s the same. We do shows in New York and we sell out clubs the same size as the clubs we sell out here. It’s growing. We’re definitely not stopping. There’s always new horizons, always new mountains to climb. We’re constantly taking it to the next level. We wanna do better. When we come back to Amsterdam next year we wanna play in a bigger club. We wanna do two nights. Nothing happens overnight, but we wanna put it to work. This is what we do.

Besides performing in Europe you work together with European artists like Greis on the track Realität. It’s just as banging as a regular Non Phixion track.

Ill Bill:
I’m glad you like it. We had a fun time in the studio. It was mad cool and we just made it happen. We picked a beat and did it. It took like two hours.

How did you meet?

Ill Bill:
We met in Switserland. We did a live show last year and we just met up. It was simple, man. It wasn’t that complicated. We’re down with working with other people. We wanna keep up the quality and, like you said, we feel that the track is at the same level as any other Non Phixion track. That’s it. We’re about that. We give you all when we put out a record, no matter what it is. A feature appearance on somebody’s shit or a Non Phixion record or a Q-Unique record. We give a 100%.

Q-Unique, you announced new releases. What’s going to happen with you?

Q-Unique:
The single is about to jump off in a couple of weeks. It’s the first single. Necro did the A-side and I did the B-side. And after that Necro came to it and gave six tracks to my album. So I’m just getting ready for the album and get ready for the singles and all of that. For me it’s a blessing. Cause I’ve just been chilling in the cut. Bill sought me out and said: “Yo, let’s do this!” So, the single comes off in a couple of weeks and than the next single and another and than the album and than we hit the road again and blow this motherfucker up.

On Uncle Howie Records we’ve also got this cat named E-Dot that’s coming out around the same time as mine. We’ve got Immortal Technique. A lot of people should know about him by now. He’s coming out around the same time with a single. Steven King is a new cat that will bring it up. Also Cyn Roc, also a new guy, will bring it up. Than we’ve got some Ill Bill joints coming out. We’ve got Sabac joints, Goretex and for the people who remember WHT finally once again coming out with the next joint. After years since the first one.

Ill Bill:
We’re dropping some new Non Phixion. We’ve been working on The Green DVD for quite a while. It’s the next Non Phixion release and it’s over 90 minutes. Between 90 minutes and two hours of live footage, interviews, us popping out on tour in Europe and in the U.S. I think people are gonna love it. It’s dope. You get some music with it as well. A one hour cd is coming with it. A mix cd with tons of unreleased outtakes, demos plus some brand new shit as well. Than we gonna be releasing a single, prior like in a month and a half to kick that off. It’s gonna be released early january 2004. It’s some new stuff that the fans have never heared before. I believe… I think… you’ll see.

You announced that it also has got some Amsterdam features on it.

Ill Bill:
Yeah man. The heads in Amsterdam are gonna happy when they see the dvd. We gave you all props. We talked about the different places where we all like to perform and the places where we have been and Amsterdam did well on the ratings chart. You guys are probably number one. You and New York City get the top rank.

I think when listeners tune in to your music, they hear a lot of frustration and anger. To me the main message on the album The Future Is Now is that you’ve got to live for today and enjoy today because perhaps there ain’t no tomorrow. You can also hear that the album is released after September 11th. I was wondering, because many things have changed and you also have develloped artisticaly, what do you think the message will be on the next material?

Ill Bill:
I think it will be a continuation of where we are at. Obviously we’re ever changing and constantly evolving. I can’t really tell you what’s it gonna be. You have to hear it for yourself. It’s gonna be about what’s going on right now and what we anticipate to and becoming in the future. What you heared on The Future Is Now was where we were at a year ago. So you gonna get to see where we’re at now. The world is fucked up. We’re speaking about what’s going on right now but at the same time the world is beautiful too. It’s a balance. You gonna get a little bit of everything. You can’t have good without bad.

What pisses you off nowadays?

Ill Bill:
What pisses me off? A lot of things piss me off. I’m probably a little impatient so people, stupid people, piss me off. I think I have to be a little bit more excepting of some people’s stupidity. People that are ignorant, people that just don’t think before they act. It’s part of the game. It’s part of life. You have to deal with that. A lot of things piss me off.

Life is beautiful, you said. Are there any happy songs coming up?

Ill Bill:
You gonna get a little bit of everything. I think a lot of times we convey probably every emotion possible in the course of one verse in one song. We give you a lot of different angles. That’s part of what we do. That’s what sets us apart from a lot of other groups. It’s strictly out of the fact that we were getting bored with anything else. It’s a lot of things. Stories, concept songs, bang-your-head-against-the-wall type shit.

Q-Unique:
What’s dope about Uncle Howie, Non Phixion and the whole camp is that with this camp is that people write with skills and emotion tied together. Some cats just base their shit on skill and after a while you can’t relate and it’s just boring. “Yo, rappers are wack, rappers are wack, rappers are wack” and every fucking record “Rappers are wack, rappers are wack, other rappers are wack, other rappers…” That’s boring. Show me some emotion ánd skill. Give me a song to follow. That’s what this camp does. Like real fucking musicians. We are real musicians and that’s how it comes of.

What do you like most now? Releasing records, helping unsigned talent, touring, performing?

Ill Bill:
Everything. I feel blessed that we are able to do what we are doing and we are able to do it in terms of career. It’s not a hobby anymore. We’re able to live of our art. That’s the best thing about it overall. Just the fact that we’re here in Amsterdam chilling, talking to you right now, doing sold out shows at the Melkweg. That’s the shit right there, man. It don’t get better than this. It’s the combination of everything: working with new artists is great, putting out music, getting a response from the fans, getting up on-stage, performing for them and meet them in stores, walking into Fatbeats and see Uncle Howie on the wall. It feels great.

It’s nice to make an album and release it. What about the label and the distribution. Uncle Howie is blowing up. Do you have a good distributor right now?

Ill Bill:
We just did a new deal with Caroline Distribution in the U.S. We’re talking to European distributors and to Japanese distributors right now. Also to some people Down Under, Australia, New Zealand locking down deals. Right now the U.S. is locked down and we’ve got Canada locked down. I want to get proper distribution right here to match what we have in the U.S. I hope in the next month we’ll have a finished deal.

You are also promoting your website www.nonphixion.com. How important is the site to you?

Ill Bill:
It’s dope. It plugs people in to Non Phixion as far as information on what’s going on, as far as shows, as far as new releases and information about the group. It’s great. It’s a link between us and the rest of the world. I think there’s probably a ton of people who might not be able to find our record as easily as someone in New York or someone in Amsterdam. For a kid in Kiev, Russia, it’s hard to get our records. But if they wanna hear our music they can go to nonphixion.com and now we also have unclehowie.com. You can go online and download a sampler we have that has ten songs on it, the Fall 2003 Sampler. We are gonna be doing these samplers every season. So look out for Winter 2004. You can go to www.unclehowie.com right now and download the sampler and soon we will have a full store where you can order t-shirts, music, whatever we’re selling. We’ll be branching in clothing and different merchandise and stuff like that. You can go check out all the new information, news, music and videos on every artist on Uncle Howie. All of that Nonphixion.com would be the extension of it.

There’s also some weird stuff on nonphixion.com. There’s a poll on strange serial killers.

Ill Bill:
We change it every month. Last month it was “What are your favorite sneakers?” Now it’s “Who the most infamous serial killer?” Mine is Joel Rifkin or Albert Fish. Albert Fish was a fucking scumbag because he used to kill children. It’s prior the worst.

Do you check the site often to see what kind of fanbase you have?

Ill Bill:
Yeah. I’m involved in it day to day. Shout out to my boy Ghetto Gorilla. That’s my webmaster. Check it out.

Credits: Max, Rauf, JPK